Plea to stop lorries using Mynyddislwyn country lane as short cut

A WOMAN has spoken of a near-miss with a lorry, after an incident that demonstrates why a community want Caerphilly council to do something to stop heavy goods vehicles using a narrow country lane. Diane Smith from Pentwynmawr was driving through Mynyddislwyn when she had a lucky escape from an HGV coming the other way. “It was on the wide part of the lane and the police said if it had been a few feet further down, I’d have been dead,” said Mrs Smith.

Diane Smith’s car after the incident On Monday August 24, Mrs Smith was driving along the lane when she spotted the HGV. “Knowing that the two of us would not fit, I pulled in and tried to signal to the HGV driver to say to wait and I would back out so that there was room for it to pass,” she said.

“But he just kept coming and I just covered my head with my hands and waited.” The HGV crashed into the side of the car and pulled it back out, but if it happened just feet further into the lane, it would have been a head-on collision. “I’m lucky that I just have bruises on my leg, but I was physically sick from the shock,” said Mrs Smith.

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The 10 worst roads in Gwent for speeding, according to you The driver apologised and said that he was following his satnav, which leads the vehicles through the lane as a shortcut to reach the factories on Nine Mile Point, despite council signs asking HGVs to ignore the satnav. “Something has to be done, it is lucky that no-one has been killed.

But do we have to wait until someone is killed before anything gets done?,” Mrs Smith said. Her near-miss is just the latest in a string of incidents around Mynddislwyn that involved HGVs on their way to or from Nine Mile Point on the B4751, by going over the mountain from the north (Sainsbury’s roundabout). In November 2017, there was an extremely lucky escape for one person whose car was crushed by a HGV as it drove past, luckily without the driver inside.

The car in November 2017 St Tudor’s Church in Mynyddislwyn is a Grade II listed building and the drystone wall of the graveyard has been damaged 12 times in recent years,with the latest being early last month. A section that passes by St Tudors Church and graveyard.

Picture: Google Maps An open letter sent to Caerphilly County Borough Council leader Christina Harrhy which was seen by the South Wales Argus expresses the frustration of the community, and the urgency of the situation. The letter, written by Elizabeth Tomlin, churchwarden of St Tudor’s Church, explains that the cost to replace the wall, which surrounds the building and the ancient graveyard passes GBP20,000.

Residents and farm owners have also had damage done to their property by the passing vehicles. In an extract from the letter, Mrs Tomlin acknowledges the council’s efforts but feels more needs to be done. She writes: “The council did respond in 2017 to the Church Council’s request to upgrade signposting, by putting signage along the dual carriageway instead of just the one on the roundabout.

“Drivers, however, are either simply ignoring them or don’t understand them. One driver said he’d seen the sign but thought it meant that trucks were only allowed provided they were fitted with satnav.” The letter also stated some recommendations that Mrs Tomlin asks the council to consider to prevent further incidents.

One of the signs in Pontllanfraith warning the road is unsuitable for HGVs. Picture: Google Maps These include: a sign indicating a ‘7.5T’ restriction positioned about 35 metres up the lane from the roundabout and possibly another at the beginning of the triangle of land between the two roads before the entrance to the gun club – the last place that it is reasonably safe for a HGV to reverse.

The width of the lane following the above sign. Picture: Google Maps There is also a recommendation to have road surface markings saying for no HGVs immediately after the roundabout and positioning the ‘road narrows’ sign at the land before the gun club entrance to further enhance the message that this is the last place a HGV can safely reverse.

A spokesman for Caerphilly county borough council said: “This is an ongoing issue, so the council has improved the signage in the vicinity to deter HGV vehicles from using the route. These include: o ‘Unsuitable for HGVs’ sign erected at Pentwynmawr roundabout

o The above sign was replaced with a pictorial sign advising drivers to ignore satnav as the local community considered that foreign drivers could not understand the text version – the sign is suitably located and is clearly visible to approaching drivers. o Signs erected on bothy approaches to A472 Sainsbury’s roundabout. o Signs erected on Troed-Y-Rhiw Road in Wattsville.

o ‘Unsuitable for HGVs’ sign erected on triangular grassed area in lane.”

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